There's Something I Want You To D0
“Bravery” is from Charles Baxter’s new collection, THERE’S SOMETHING I WANT YOU TO DO, (Knopf Doubleday, 2015). Baxter is the author of five novels, three collections of short stories, and several books of poems and essays. He is a National Book Award Finalist and the recipient of numerous other awards and fellowships.
Troy Jollimore, writing in The Chicago Tribune, said of the collection: There are 10 stories in the book and each is named after a particular virtue or vice. In each case the virtue or vice in question is somehow pertinent to the story’s characters or plot, though the connection is clearer in some than in others; and all of the stories, it should be said, steer well clear of the sort of moralistic parable or fable a reader might in other contexts expect from a story called “Avarice” or “Forbearance.”
Writing in the New York Times, Michelle Huneven, praised the book: You could say that religious experience shorn of (most) religious context is the overarching subject of Charles Baxter’s winning and ingenious new story collection. The book follows a group of Minneapolis citizens, including a pediatrician, a young drug addict, a translator and a car mechanic — all of whom, like the rest of us, crave love and meaning and moral goodness while confined by the shortcomings and idiosyncrasies of their own personalities. These characters slip in and out of one another’s stories, and while some never meet, they eventually constitute, if not exactly a community, a shimmering web of interconnectedness.